Categorized | Also Noted

WPS Picks 2010 All-Star Teams, Playground Style

Posted on 29 June 2010 by lbarker

On Monday night at STATS in downtown Atlanta, GA Women’s Professional Soccer held a one-of-a-kind event in preparation for the league’s 2010 All-Star Game. The game will take place on Wednesday June 30th at KSU Soccer Stadium, the Atlanta Beat’s brand-new soccer specific home on the campus of Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

In 2009 the WPS All-Stars faced off against Umea IK, topping the team that plays in the Swedish Damallsvenskan 4-2. For 2010 the league decided to go with a different and very unique format – pitting 36 of the leagues top players against each other in a schoolyard style game. To kick of the festivities WPS held a Pick ‘Em event at STATS where the two team captains, along with their coaches, picked their teams playground style. Fox Soccer Channel color commentator Jenn Hildreth MC’d the event.

The Washington Freedom’s Abby Wambach and FC Gold Pride’s Marta were chosen as team captains as they were the top two vote-getters in All-Star balloting. Abby’s XI, coached by Philadelphia Independence coach Paul Riley had the first pick – and went with a goalkeeper, US National Team teammate and Atlanta Beat ‘keeper Hope Solo. Marta’s XI followed suit, and along with coach FC Gold Pride Coach Albertin Montoya, chose Sky Blue ‘keeper Karen Bardsley with her first pick. From there the teams went back and forth, adding to rosters that had already been stocked with reserves selected by WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci.

Here are the picks – starters are listed in the order they were chosen:

Abby’s XI: Abby Wambach (F- Washington Freedom) (c), Hope Solo (GK – Atlanta Beat), Amy LePeilbet (D – Boston Breakers), Tina Ellertson (D – Atlanta Beat), Cat Whitehill (D – Washington Freedom), Shannon Boxx (M – FC Gold Pride), Heather O’Reilly (F – Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (M – Philadelphia Independence), Lori Chalupny (M – Atlanta Beat), Enoila Aluko (F – Atlanta Beat), Lauren Cheney (F – Boston Breakers) // Reserves: Angie Kerr (M -Atlanta Beat), Karen Carney (M – Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O’Hara (F – FC Gold Pride), Laura Kalmari (M – Sky Blue FC), Tasha Kai (F – Sky Blue FC), Jillian Loyden (GK – Chicago Red Stars) // Coach: Paul Riley (Philadelphia Independence) // Not available due to injury: Kate Markgraf (D- Chicago Red Stars)

Marta’s XI: Marta (F – FC Gold Pride) (c), Karen Bardsley (GK – Sky Blue FC), Rachel Buehler (D – FC Gold Pride), Allison Falk (D – Philadelphia Independence), Brittany Taylor (D – Sky Blue FC), Kelly Smith (M – Boston Breakers), Sonia Bompastor (M – Washington Freedom), Aya Miyama (M – Atlanta Beat), Kristine Lilly (M – Boston Breakers), Christine Sinclair (F – FC Gold Pride), Ramona Bachmann (F – Atlanta Beat) // Reserves: Christie Rampone (D – Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (D – Washington Freedom), Amy Rodriguez (F – Philadelphia Independence), Erin McLeod (GK – Washington Freedom), Alex Scott (D – Boston Breakers), Cristiane (F – Chicago Red Stars) // Coach: Albertin Montoya // Not available due to injury: Caroline Seger (M – Philadelphia Independence)

“Coaching the World All-Stars almost is unbelievable. I mean, the amount of talent that will be in our locker room tomorrow and Wednesday is fantastic” said Abby’s XI Coach Riley. “It’s just a matter of natural ability. Let ’em go, roll the ball out, roll the dice, and see what happens. It’s an amazing amount of talent on the team.” The first year WPS coach, whose Independence currently sit in second place in the standings, just a point behind league leaders, Montoya’s FC Gold Pride, continued on about the level of talent that was available, “Me and Abby look down the list and we’re going ‘it doesn’t even matter who you pick next’.”

After all the selections were made, both coaches lobbied for a trade. According to Riley, Montoya wanted Kelley O’Hara, who plays for him on Gold Pride, and he wanted Amy Rodriguez, who plays for him in Philadelphia, but the players weren’t having it. Once the official proceedings ended players socialized and signed autographs for fans before heading back to Kennesaw.

On Tuesday morning both teams went through a light training session on opposite halves of a field just off the main pitch at KSU Soccer Stadium. Marta’s XI starting ‘keeper Karen Bardsley took a knock when she came out for a cross during the training session and spent the rest of the practice off the field with her shoulder wrapped in ice. It’s not clear whether Bardsley, who currently leads WPS in clean sheets (5) and goals against (.90), will be available for Wednesday’s match. “You can get hurt walking across the street or coming out here” Montoya said of Bardsley’s apparent injury. He stressed that it didn’t occur on a reckless play.

Riley had predicted a 7-5 scoreline after the selections were made on Monday night, and then followed that prediction up with this one: “That might be an underscore. I think it might go even higher than that…I don’t think you’ll see a lot of defending going on on Wednesday night.” But after the practice session both coaches were singing a slightly different tune. “We were having our issues scoring. The first finishing game we were gonna play up to ten goals, then I brought it down to eight, then I brought it down to six” Marta’s XI Coach Montoya said after practice. Ultimately though, he wasn’t worried “I think we were just kind of saving it for tomorrow.”

The 2010 WPS All-Star Game will air on Fox Soccer Channel on Wednesday, June 30th. Coverage starts at 7:30pm ET and kickoff is slated for 8pm ET.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Lauren Barker Says:

    **Update – Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley will not be available for the game – Nicole Barnhart, who is in Atlanta with FC Gold Pride training for the Pride's match this weekend against the Beat, has been added to the All-Star Roster.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Tweets that mention WPS Picks 2010 All-Star Teams, Playground Style | Women's Professional Soccer -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by wpsASN. wpsASN said: New #WPS story posted:: WPS Picks 2010 All-Star Teams, Playground Style […]

  2. Fun, Flair on Display as Marta XI Wins 2010 WPS All-Star Game | Women's Professional Soccer Says:

    […] No good playground game is complete without picking teams and on Monday night in downtown Atlanta the two team captains, FC Gold Pride’s Marta and the Washington Freedom’s Abby Wambach picked their starters in a public event. […]

Leave a Reply

Advertise Here
Advertise Here